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RE: XHTML 2.0 -- A Chance to Improve Document Structure?

From: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 19:27:53 +0100
Message-ID: <81E4A2BC03CED111845100104B62AFB50102A5A3@stagecoach.bts.co.uk>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
> From:	Dave Hodder [SMTP:dmh@dmh.org.uk]
> However, at the same time, I can't help but think the structure of the
> document is rather flat.  The larger I make my document, the more it
> seems to cry out for more hierarchical markup.
	[DJW:]  The problems you have to face are:

	1) Unless and until the use of tables for layout dies 
	   out, anything that requires a proper, linear reading 
	   order structure, will not be used by most authors.
	   The current situation is that almost no-one actually
	   marks up headings properly, but there is no hope of
	   converting people to do so if they have to forego 
	   table based layout in the process.

	2) Proper structure is a remarkably difficult concept for
	   even professional authors, and given the current 
	   WYSIWYG culture, the likely result of forcing people to
	   use proper structure is to exacerbate the tendency to 
	   simulate headings with presentational markup.  For example,
	   the recent posting to the Amaya mailing list shows a fairly
	   typical view that headings are only a way of achieving a
	   particular presentations effect:

	Whilst I think that the suggestion would be good from the
	point of view of a clean language design, I don't think
	it is compatible (nor do I think the ISO restrictions are
	compatible) with the majority of the market for HTML.
	(I did actually wonder about this sort of idea when thinking
	about the thread quoted above.) 

	DOCBOOK has been mentioned, and although I don't know 
	a great deal about it, I think it is probably a much 
	better tool for people who understand how to markup
	documents structurally.  DOCBOOK has, I believe, been converted
	to XML; I don't think that HTML should also converge on it
	as that would just tend to make XHTML become the only 
	application of XML.

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Received on Monday, 26 March 2001 13:28:13 UTC

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